§ Mr. Alan Simpson
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the answer of 23 February 1998,Official Report, columns 60–61, if the rate of 6 per cent. VAT imposed by the Belgian Government covers the purchase of energy-saving materials in Belgium; and what discussions he has held with his Belgian counterpart concerning the formal response received from the European Commission by the Belgian Government following their decision to reduce the rate charged upon such goods. 
§ Dawn Primarolo
We are not aware that the Belgian authorities apply a reduced rate to purchases of energy saving materials for DIY installation, or that they have been challenged by the Commission. If any information comes to light I will write to my hon. Friend.
I have had no discussions with Belgian colleagues about this issue.